Donald Trumps Hostile Takeover of the Republican Party

Donald Trumps Hostile Takeover of the Republican Party

May 12th, 2016 // 9:30 pm @

New-MgtDonald trump has, whether one likes or loathes him successfully executed a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.

He will be the Republican candidate for President of the US, and whatever he says and does will be seen by the public as the word of the Republican Party.

Now traditional leaders of the party are desperately trying to work out how to deal with Trump as the parties’ nominee. We will get a spectrum of republicans from those who actively support the Trump campaign for the general election, through those who try and avoid saying anything about Trump, to those who are so appalled at the thought of a Trump Presidency they will actively try and defeat him.

A second issue for the coming moths is that while Trump is a rich man, he does not have the cash to fund a full Presidential campaign. It will be interesting to see which traditional donors to the Republican cause will keep their cheque books closed rather than support a trump campaign.

The coming months will see the Republican Party in disarray with no unified campaign to capture the White House, The Senate and The Congress, and with the real danger of significant loses across all three parts of the government as a party led by Trump losses support across the board.

The Republican Party has only itself to blame for the extraordinary position it finds itself in.

One party or the other solidly holds the vast majority of elected offices in the US, and elections are won or lost in a relatively small number of swing elections where there is a real chance of either party winning.

In those districts where one party is dominant, the local party members choose the candidate. People who become party members and activists tend to hold more extreme views than the mainstream voters, whether that be to the right or left. Therefore they choose candidates who reflect their more extreme views, who are then duly elected. For many US politicians the biggest threat to staying in power is to be deselected by their local party, not loosing a general election.

The Republican Party has therefore become more extreme, and less willing to make the compromises that are required to make government work. The founding father of the US built a government system that requires compromise to work. But Republican politicians scared of being seen as ideologically weak by their own local party have been willing to take the government to the very edge of shutdown rather than compromise.

In recent weeks we have seen North Carolina and Mississippi pass laws to control, which public bathrooms transgender citizens can use. Whatever ones views on the specific issue, this raises the question are their not more pressing issues for these States Governments to deal with? The reality is this is an attempt by local politicians to prove their ideological purity not actually help their citizens with real problems.

The US and other western countries face real issues that affect their core electorate, from globalization, through economic recession to foreign wars. US GDP has risen 85% since 1990, yet the middle working classes have seen no increase in their real wealth during that period, the rich have got richer and income gaps have widened.

The Republican Party influenced by the Tea Party has become more extreme, less willing to participate in government and more focused on ideological issues that are of interest to their party extremists but less so for the general electorate.

Your average working American cares more about his job security, than which public toilet people use. Republican leaders have allowed the party to be taken sharply to the right by highly motivated extremists within the party and away from the core electorate.

In such circumstances and with hindsight it might be seen as inevitable that a rebellion would occur. A vote for Trump is just as much a vote against the party establishment as a vote for Trump himself.

There is an interesting parallel here in the UK with the Labour Party, there has been an influx of new party members who are more left wing than the general Labour voter, in safe Labour seats these extremists will be able to put huge pressure on sitting MP’s and deselect them if they are not seen to be left wing enough.

Being a centralist in the Labour Party in the coming years could become a very difficult place to be.

Political Parties need desperately the active party members who undertake so much of the electioneering and party work. However whatever the party or country these active members will tend to pull the party away from the center ground where elections are won, to a more idealistically pure but unelectable left or right wing stances.

It will be fascinating to watch how the Republican Party deals with its new De facto leader whose takeover was so hostile.

 


Category : Blog &Other Thoughts

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